Have you ever heard the expression, “either you do or you don’t, there is no trying”? This expression has always bugged me and I could never figure out why. Thanks to some recent experiences I finally figured it out . Some one said to me just yesterday… and I am paraphrasing…. what is try, there is no try. You don’t try to get out of a chair, either you do or your don’t. That kind of made sense to me, but then I realized tonight…. as a reasonably healthy young woman with good knees, hips and back… that is really easy for me to say. For me getting out of a chair is simply either I do or I don’t. Then remembered a time when I hurt my back badly. Rolling over in bed was almost impossible, and getting out of a chair was even worse.
To me failing is not when you make an attempt and it doesn’t work, so you try again. To me failing at something, or not succeeding at it, is when you throw in the towel, throw your hands up and just give up and never try again.
Lets re-examine the chair analogy. You have a really bad back, and it restricts some of your movement. You make that effort, get 1/4 of the way to standing up, and your back just won’t stretch. You plunk down in your chair, take a few breaths and then attempt to get up again. You make it to 3/4 of the way this time, but still not quite there. You plunk down again. You haven’t failed yet, because you haven’t given up. Attempt number three, and YAY you make it all the way up. You succeeded!
I spent 5 1/2 years being very depressed, 6+ years with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and it took me a very long time to figure out how to succeed at getting better. When someone tells me there is no trying, it is hurtful and feels like they are negating a lot of the efforts and work I put into getting better.( A small piece of advice to the do or don’t ‘ers out there. Be very careful who you say that to. It can be a great motivator for some but something terribly painful for others.)
By now you may be asking yourself, what then is trying? To me trying….. is the state where you haven’t failed, but you are still figuring out the right way to succeed.
In a simple sense they are correct. In the end, either you did it or you didn’t, but all the value of what you did, or realized that you couldn’t do, came from the trying.
I propose a new quote, one that does not negate people’s efforts.
” In the end, either you do, or you don’t. But the most important value and lessons come from being in the state of trying.”
Of course that is a work in progress. I may refine it, or I might leave it the same. Who knows. All I can do is try it, and see if it will be successful for me.